A Christmas service began in Istanbul, which is jointly conducted by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Epifaniy, elected during the Unification Assembly of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches. After the divine liturgy, the Tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be solemnly granted to Metropolitan Epifaniy.
The festive service is taking place in St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul. This Orthodox cathedral in the Phanar district of Istanbul has been the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople since 1601.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is taking part in the ceremony of the Tomos delivery and the divine liturgy said by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the primate of the UOC.
Today, the Orthodox celebrate the Epiphany Day, this is why, after the granting of the Tomos and the divine liturgy, the ceremony of blessing of the water will take place in the Golden Horn Bay, the ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. Kyiv time.
On January 7, the Christmas day, a divine liturgy will take place at Saint Sophia's Cathedral, where Tomos will be demonstrated on the granting of autocephaly to the newly established Ukrainian Orthodox Church.